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J Biomed Opt. 2010 Nov-Dec;15(6):068002. doi: 10.1117/1.3526355.

Immunohistochemical evaluation of the heat shock response to nonablative fractional resurfacing.

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Elixir Institute of Regenerative Medicine, San Jose, CA 95138, USA.


Despite the emergence of nonablative fractional resurfacing (NFR) as a new therapeutic modality for skin photoaging, little is known about the molecular events that underlie the heat shock response to different treatment parameters. Human subjects are treated with a scanned 1550-nm fractional laser at pulse energies spanning 6 to 40 mJ and a 140-μm spot size. The heat shock response is assessed immunohistochemically immediately through 7 days posttreatment. At the immediately posttreatment time point, we observe subepidermal clefting in most sections. The basal epidermis and dermal zones of sparing are both found to express HSP47, but not HSP72. By day 1, expression of HSP72 is detected throughout the epidermis, while that of HSP47 remains restricted to the basal layer. Both proteins are detected surrounding the dermal portion of the microscopic treatment zone (MTZ). This pattern of expression persists through day 7 post-NFR, although neither protein is found within the MTZ. Immediately posttreatment, the mean collagen denaturation zone width is 50 μm at 6 mJ, increasing to 202 μm at 40 mJ. The zone of cell death exceeds the denaturation zone by 19 to 55% over this pulse energy range. The two zones converge by day 7 posttreatment.

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